An Alabama man was sentenced today to 90 years
in prison and 10 years of supervised release for production of child
pornography involving seven minor victims, announced Acting Assistant
Attorney General Kenneth A. Blanco of the Justice Department’s Criminal
Division and U.S. Attorney Jay E. Town of the Northern District of
Jerome Lee, 54, formerly of Cullman County, Alabama, pleaded guilty in
January 2017 to four counts of production of child pornography. U.S.
District Judge Virginia Emerson Hopkins presided over the sentencing in
court documents, beginning in September 1996 and continuing for over a
decade, until August of 2007, Lee and his co-conspirators belonged to a
group of sophisticated offenders who gathered in secret,
password-protected, chat rooms to discuss their sexual interest in
minors and the real-life sexual abuse of children being perpetrated by
several group members. Lee and others also used these chat rooms to
advertise, distribute, receive, and possess child pornography. Court
documents state that from September of 1996 through December of 2004,
Lee sexually abused at least seven different minors and that he
frequently produced images and videos depicting his sexual exploitation
of these children which he shared with his co-conspirators.
Attorney Ralph Paradiso of the Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section
(CEOS) of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and Assistant U.S.
Attorney Daniel Fortune of the Northern District of Alabama prosecuted
This case was
brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to
combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse,
launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by U.S.
Attorneys’ offices and CEOS, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal,
state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute
individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to
identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe
Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov. (link is external)